Anheuser-Busch Announces Acquisition of Leading Organic Energy Drink
Creates opportunity in healthy energy drinks and sparkling waters, two of the fastest-growing beverage categories
St. Louis, MO and San Francisco, CA, July 20, 2017 – Today, Anheuser-Busch announced its acquisition of Hiball, maker of the category-leading organic energy drinks and sparkling energy waters by the same name, as well as Alta Palla (“high ball” in Italian), a brand of organic sparkling juices and sparkling waters. Hiball’s success in the energy and sparkling water categories – two of the fastest-growing categories in the beverage industry – will further deepen A-B’s investments in the no-alcohol sector. Hiball Energy and Alta Palla, Hiball’s two signature brands, will benefit from Anheuser-Busch’s brand-building experience, its amazing wholesaler network, and its operational expertise.
Hiball’s founders and team pioneered the category of natural, organic energy drinks aimed at consumers who want the boost of energy, with less or no sugar, and organic ingredients. Hiball’s energy drinks and sparkling energy waters are made with a proprietary, organic-certified energy blend, consisting of caffeine, guarana, and ginseng. Hiball’s products target some of the most important trends in the beverage space today, including health and wellness, natural and sustainably-sourced ingredients, energy-boosting products, and attractive, aspirational brands.
“Todd, Alyssa, Dan and the entire Hiball team have created an incredible business, developing some of the fastest-growing brands in the beverage industry and giving their loyal consumers the choices they love,” said João Castro Neves, President and CEO, Anheuser-Busch. “We are very happy to partner with these three entrepreneurs and invest to help them achieve their dreams.”
Castro Neves added: “The combination of Hiball’s category-leading organic energy drinks and Alta Palla’s organic sparkling juices and sparkling waters together with our network and operational know-how will create tremendous growth opportunities for these brands. There are some key similarities between our companies including our desire to dream big, our passion for our people and our products, and our commitment to quality and sustainability in everything we do. Our goal is to deliver Hiball products to new markets, while preserving their culture and brand identities. Hiball’s motto is ‘It’s all good,’ and we couldn’t agree more.”
Hiball was formed in 2005 when its founder and president, Todd Berardi, began selling the company’s signature energy drinks out of the back of his car. The company, which now has 20 employees, is still driven by a small team of very passionate people who eat, sleep and drink Hiball Energy and Alta Palla. The company continues to aspire to reach an expanding audience of people who want quality ingredients. Following the close of the acquisition, Todd, his wife Alyssa Warnock, Hiball’s Creative Director and Designer who designed all the branding and packaging, and Dan Craytor, VP of Business Development, will continue to lead and manage the business.
“We are thrilled to partner with a company that shares our vision for where we can take Hiball Energy and Alta Palla in the future, and brings real passion and dedication to their work every day,” said Mr. Berardi. “This deal is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for me and my team, and I can’t wait to get started. Together with Anheuser-Busch, we will be able to bring our delicious, refreshing and organic/fair-trade products to more consumers in more places, growing our brands and our share of the energy and sparkling markets. When I founded this company, I had a single goal of delivering the very best organic, natural products to like-minded consumers. I am excited to join the Anheuser-Busch team so we can share our products with more consumers and give our team even more opportunities to grow.”
Anheuser-Busch plans a phased transition of the Hiball Energy and Alta Palla brands to our wholesaler partners. David Stokes, Chairman of the Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler Advisory Panel said, “We are thrilled to partner with Todd and the rest of the Hiball team. Hiball Energy and Alta Palla are great additions to our developing no-alcohol portfolio, and we have been asking A-B for a partnership opportunity just like this. Adding these outstanding brands to our wholesaler system increases the breadth of our product portfolio and strengthens our network as we offer more innovation to our customers.”
A-B will draw on its extensive, proven track record of working with founder-driven companies, like Hiball, to help them expand their consumer base while preserving the company’s distinctive culture, its commitment to quality organic and fair-trade ingredients, and brand identity. Hiball also shares A-B’s commitment to the local community and, as part of the A-B family, will maintain its relationships with the non-profits and athletes Hiball already supports.
Following today’s announcement, A-B and Hiball expect to close this transaction in the third quarter of this year. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hiball Energy is the pioneer of energy drinks for the health-conscious consumer: premium, refreshing, sparkling energy waters and organic energy drinks made with organic and fair-trade ingredients whenever possible. Hiball Energy products contain a proprietary organic energy blend of guarana, ginseng and caffeine with the addition of B-Vitamins (B3, B5, B6, B12). Hiball Energy is currently one of the fastest growing natural/organic energy drink brand according to SPINSÒ and is sold nationally at fine retailers. Alta Palla (“high ball” in Italian), Hiball’s non-energy brand of sparkling juice beverages, was launched in 2016 and contains organic and fair-trade ingredients, and less sugar and calories than its competition. In 2017, Alta Palla organic sparkling waters were launched in 16oz cans. Since it was founded in 2005, the company has grown quickly, but is still focused on having the best team, making the absolute best products from the best ingredients. Please visit www.hiballer.com and www.altapalla.com for more information.
For more than 160 years, Anheuser-Busch and its world-class brewmasters have carried on a legacy of brewing America’s most popular beers. Starting with the finest ingredients sourced from Anheuser-Busch’s family of growers, every batch is crafted using the same exacting standards and time-honored traditions passed down through generations of proud Anheuser-Busch brewmasters and employees. Anheuser-Busch owns and operates 21 breweries, 21 distributorships and 22 agricultural and packaging facilities, employing more than 17,000 people across the United States. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.